Leadership

Arc of Acadiana offers much needed services for people with intellectual disabilities by providing support through services such as employment, housing, and daily activities, all of which promote the health and well-being of each person served.  Their goal is to always put their clients first. These are some of the people who have dedicated their lives to upholding the mission of Arc.

Kenny-Patton-sm

Kenny Patton, CEO

As CEO and Executive Director of Arc of Acadiana, Kenny has brought about undisputed growth and fueled the passionate spirit that drives the organization today. His leadership, dedication and commitment to both the clients he serves, as well as the employees he leads, has fostered a fierce pursuit of achievements once thought impossible. Never before has the Arc of Acadiana been able to accomplish so much, including the unprecedented milestone of successfully privatizing a state-run facility. And not only was it successfully accomplished for the first time on a national level under Kenny’s leadership, but Arc of Acadiana recently completed its second successful privatization in as many years. And yet, despite the enormous accomplishments achieved throughout his 37 years with Arc, Kenny still finds fulfillment in the simple task of serving each client.

“I think what is fulfilling about my job changes with each client we serve. With some clients I expect to see them become as independent as possible (i.e. apartment, job, hobbies, etc.), with others it is my responsibility to make sure they are safe, healthy, and happy.”

“I was once told by the previous Executive Director over 22 years ago to always consider what impact any decision I made would have on the clients that we serve. I have never forgotten that conversation  – it’s made me keep in mind the well being of all people we serve.”

 
Cindy Leleux

Cindy Leleux, COO

As Chief Operations Officer, Cindy supports the philosophy and mission of Arc by providing direction for the growth of Arc, utilizing resources toward initiatives she knows will achieve the most value and benefit for the clientele. She developed the multi-tiered, organizational network of employees and managers in order to foster an optimal environment in which individuals receive the training and support necessary to provide the best service to each client, maintaining consistency in mission and compassion. Cindy’s personal dedication, experience and knowledge have been invaluable as the agency has changed and grown; the fluid dynamics of a growing organization and all that it entails, including meeting fluctuating staffing needs; developing strategies for operational processes; overseeing state-mandated regulatory compliance; mining technical and other specific skill sets; determining performance measures; and inspiring a dedicated mission are the daunting functions that Cindy juggles daily. But it’s a role that Cindy has relished, finding ultimate satisfaction in being able to impact so many lives, in so many different ways.

“It has been a sincere privilege and pleasure to be employed at the Arc of Acadiana for over 18 years. I have learned much over these many years and I must say, most from the people we serve. Their zest and love for life is why I am here. The people I have come to know and love at Arc have taught me more than I could ever have imagined; they continue to make me a better person. My best reward is seeing improvement in the life of each person we support. Simply the greatest pleasure is seeing the smiles on their faces. That is what keeps me here, and that is what it’s all about!”

Mary Castille

Mary Castille, CFO

 

Mary graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1976 with a bachelor of science in general business and a minor in marketing. Upon graduation she started working as a controller in a family retail business. In 1984 she joined an accounting firm and started her accounting career. She earned her certified public accountant license in 1988. Mary gained many skills and competencies working in public accounting. She has recently retired as a partner with the very same firm she joined in 1984 and looks forward to her new career with the Arc of Acadiana, Inc.

 

“I’ve been familiar with the Arc of Acadiana for the past 30 years and have watched the organization grow.  I now look forward to being a part of this wonderful organization.”

Natalie Mouton

Natalie Mouton,
Director of Client Services/Human Resources

Having worked with Arc of Acadiana since 1984, Natalie has witnessed firsthand the tremendous growth, diversification and positive changes the organization has brought to its clients, their families and the communities in which services have been provided. Natalie is responsible for providing training for new hires and continuous annual training to current staff, developing tools and materials that not only satisfy the State of Louisiana’s licensing requirements, but also promote the spirit and mission of Arc. Natalie also oversees the implementation of individual program plans, making sure each program meets licensing standards. She ensures each plan is customized for their client’s strengths and needs, and promotes progress toward achieving a long-term goal.

“I am so proud that Arc of Acadiana’s number one priority continues to be the happiness and safety of all individuals who receive our services. Our focus on community services educates and raises awareness regarding individuals with developmental disabilities, and their potential to be productive and respectful citizens of our community. Although I have been employed with Arc of Acadiana for 28 years, every day feels like the first because I can honestly say this opportunity has been the most rewarding experience.” 

Charlotte Jackson

Charlotte Jackson,
Director of Residential Services

Charlotte joined Arc in 1995 and as Director of Residential Services of Iberia Parish, is responsible for the overall operation of the service offering to clients including the efficiency, effectiveness and continuity of services.  In addition to fulfilling the mission of Arc, she is chiefly responsible for the health and safety of those who participate in the Residential Program of Arc, which she achieves through the training and support of her core team and their direct staff who interact directly with each of Arc’s clients. One of the main tenets of her division is instilling in each of her support staff a sense of commitment, honesty and integrity, qualities that are found at all levels throughout Arc.

“What I find most fulfilling is that I am following Scripture that says that Jesus came to serve others – not to be served. It is very meaningful to provide services to clients with disabilities. What drew me to Arc was that we were built by families and participants who truly care about making a difference in people with disabilities. It is rewarding for me to being able to serve Arc in this capacity. It is rewarding when a client learns a skill such as learning to say their name; making a purchase by themselves for the first time; or having a direct support staff help a client accomplish one of their goals. It is rewarding when we hear family members praise staff for keeping their loved one safe and well cared for. It is very rewarding when a client moves from one of our group homes to get their own apartment. To see the excitement on their faces is priceless.”

Anthony Russo

Anthony Russo,
Transportation and Training Director, Iberia Parish

Anthony’s role within the Arc of Acadiana organization is to ensure the safety and safe transport of the staff and clients of Arc to all the related facilities and locations to which they need transportation. In addition to managing the logistics of the system, he ensures it meets each client’s specific and individual needs with compassion and reliability. Lastly, he must also envision the growth of the transport system in order to accommodate Arc’s continuous growth, both in size and region. With a variety of certifications under his belt, including Certified Community Transit Manager, Certified Community Vehicle Maintenance Manager, and Passenger Service and Safety Instructor, Anthony’s stellar qualifications are based on 33 years of experience in planning, training and managing operations of a Paratransit System. In addition, Anthony has supervised Employment and Day Habitation services for individuals with developmental disabilities, as well as provided personal care services for the elderly.

“I felt truly honored to join the Arc of Acadiana’s fantastic team. I appreciate the many talents and skills that thrive in the consumers and the staff. I am grateful for the privilege of working together as a team to improve the lives of so many. To put it simply, this is who we are, a family, a team, a commitment!”

 April Lee Headshot

April Lee, Director of Arc of Acadiana Northwest

As the Director of a residential facility that Arc of Acadiana recently acquired and opened, April’s role is to ensure everyone who resides at Arc of Acadiana Northwest has the support and tools they need to fulfill their personal goals. She finds getting to know each and every resident at Arc of Acadiana Northwest on a personal level extremely fulfilling, and is always inspired by how her clients continue to grow and find happiness in things that most people take for granted. April has known many of her clients for several years, as she worked for the former Northwest Supports and Services Center for 14 years, growing into an administrative role.

“In five years I envision seeing even more living and work opportunities for my clients in the community. Arc of Acadiana has shown me that there are possibilities and options for everyone.  People who need more support ARE able to function happily and safely in the community.”